Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sugar crash, memory lane, and other tales

So much is going on here and I really can't keep up. Cliff is working this weekend for the Navy Reserves in Des Moines (near here). I am feeling lethargic from all the candy and junk food lately. So I am on a sugar crash. The boys are doing great though. This morning their friends came over to get them to show off their new puppy. It is an exciting day, as always.

Yesterday we went to a birthday party. We had a lot of fun and saw some friends we had been missing. And during the day Holden went over to say hi to our new neighbors. They just moved in and have the whole inside of their house repainted and the yard is all mowed. We had friends over for a few hours yesterday afternoon while their parents were out of town.

Holden and Camden are growing and changing more than I can believe! Camden wants me to teach him how to read and Holden has so many words memorized that he is quite capable of a lot of things he couldn't do before. He gets on-line easily to play games like Club Penguin and WoW. He knows how to type in passwords and get around just fine. Camden is very proficient at Club Penguin too. He wants me to teach him WoW when he gets a older. Holden got asked to be on a guild on WoW. He has such a cool character that I made myself a new WoW character because I was so jealous of his guy. I mailed myself all of my previous character's belongings and money. It worked out nicely for me and I love my new character! Holden took his time finding just the right person for himself. I love his ability to know what he wants when no one else has a clue what he is doing.

My boys are learning so much every day! Holden got a $5 bill and card in the mail last week. Camden got 4 one dollar bills and a card. Camden thought he had more money than Holden, but Holden knew he had a $5 bill which is really more, even though it seems less. Little by little life is figured out. And it is not a tedious ordeal. Math is not something I worry about with them.

I really have no need to worry. Anything they need to know, want to know, or are just passionate about will be learned eventually. Holden and I talk about all sorts of fascinating things. We went to Cliff's college one day and Holden asked if he could go there one day. I said when he becomes a teenager he can. The possibilities are endless. I learned over the last year that any class he can't take in High School can be taken at a college and paid for by school funds. He could have almost a two year degree by the time he is 18, if he wishes. He can play sports through the public schools, if he chooses. Just because he doesn't go to school doesn't mean he will miss out on anything good. He will miss out on a lot of things I wish I'd have missed out on.

I'm really lucky I am not a smoker right now. A girl I thought was really cool in High School was also a smoker. My best friend and I started smoking right before a spring break trip just so we could smoke with this "cool girl." Thankfully we hated smoking and stopped after spring break. I grew up in Houston, Texas. There were a lot of things I hated about school there. I hated all the fights. I hated all the social clicks. It still makes my stomach sick. The smell of the bathrooms was gross too. I remember if they didn't have a cloud of cigarette smoke they would soon. And the teachers were mostly nice. But I remember a few clearly. One was very adorable and he always had a circle of admirers around his desk before and after class. It was creepy. And another teacher drove a Saab and wore a lot of animal print clothing. She was an English teacher. She was such a snob. I felt I could do nothing right in her class. She made us feel below her. Yep, those were the days I couldn't wait to escape. I took a work study program so I could get out early to go to work. I worked at a t-shirt shop in a mall.

My husband worried a lot about homeschooling the boys at first. But now he understands and is very supportive. He even looks back on his own school days differently than he used to a few years ago. He can see he would have benefited by homeschooling. He couldn't sit still and he played a lot of sports. He hated the rules and homework. He didn't like being treated like a jock. It must have been hard for him to be categorized into something that wasn't what he was. He was more than a jock. But because he was so talented at sports he spent time perfecting his talents there and he missed out on other areas because he was rejected by other social clicks. Cliff remembers missing many recesses because he couldn't sit still in class. Does that make sense? It is ironic that a child who can't sit still in class should be made to miss recess. It is more than ironic. It shows how idiotic and cruel some people can be to children.

Anyone out there wondering why people are taking their kids out of school should take a good hard look at their own memory lane. Anyone wondering if schools have changed since then--no way! Just go make friends with any kid and they will tell you. I love talking to teens and kids. I understand their worries and pain. They don't have it easy. Their own parents think school is a right-of-passage that should be inflicted on all kids. Maybe I am exaggerating, but a lot of parents really think schools are the only place learning takes place. They fear the unknown. We've been told our whole lives that teachers and schools are the experts. We don't trust ourselves with our own children. That is a sad commentary on parenting and could be made into another post.

Fear makes us do a lot of silly things. And I am here to say there is nothing to fear. Anything is possible. We just have to want better for our kids and look to others around us who can help guide us. I have been so thankful to be surrounded by other people who are living proof of what life can be like, if we just go for it and trust our children. They have the power. The resources are there. All you have to do is look and trust that all will be fine.

Some of the people I enjoy the most are moms who used to be school teachers. I also enjoyed my friends through La Leche League International, Attachment Parenting support group, and now those groups are various unschooling groups we associate with. We are so grateful to other moms and dads who have helped to influence our lives for the better.

Peace to all and happy November!!



zamozo said...

I really enjoyed this post Heather! I feel so empowered in the knowledge and confidence that I can nurture and help my children learn and grow into wonderful, productive, happy adults without having to rely on The System. It all started when I gave birth naturally and then fed, nurtured and grew my babies completely and exclusively at my breasts. I remember feeling so incredibly strong and competent way back then and homeschooling/unschooling has only continued that feeling.

Heather's Moving Castle said...

I have no idea where this post came from. I just sat down and out it came. I'm glad it turned out the way it did and you enjoyed it.

A lot of my inspiration comes from wanting people to wake up and do better for their kids. I want people to believe they have the power within themselves to do this. So many people feel powerless because their power has been given to so many others all their lives. I was one of those people at one time. I still have my moments when I feel weak. But it doesn't last long.

All kids deserve better, if being at home is the better option for their situation. I realize for some kids school is an escape from a bad home life. That makes me sad too.

~Heather ;)

Alex Polikowsky said...

Great post.
Hey don't knock Saab drivers. I still have my old Saab for 13 years
now and I love it!

Snavleys said...

Fear is a very powerful thing and the government is really good at making people fear. It's sometimes difficult to break out of that but the rewards are incredible right? People are so afraid to try things a different way because it might not "turn out", like the way we've been doing things have produced such great results (hear the sarcasm?).

Rain said...

Thank you so much for your kind comment. I am so glad you love the book!
Great post. Yes, remembering what it was really like is huge! Why would I put my children through that, unless they really loved it?

Heather's Moving Castle said...

Saabs are good cars. I didn't mean to knock Saab drivers. I know you weren't really insulted though. Just being cute. ;)

Heidi Snavley~
Yeah, I know about those great results (hear my sarcasm?)!! I always did the bare minimum. School was a game I was really good at playing, but not as a willing participant.

I don't like looking back on my school days. But it helps me to see the truth about the world we live in and the world some of my younger friends live in. I don't try to make anyone feel like less b/c they are in school. They don't need my opinion. They know in their own hearts what school means to them. And hopefully it is not the prison it seemed to be for me. The worst were some of the people I was exposed to. There were a few gems I like to remember. But for the most part no one wanted to be there five days a week, and it brought out the worst in some people, including the teachers.

I remember a few stalkers I had. It was creepy. I had some older (weird) boys who wanted to date me too. It was terribly annoying. No girl should have to go through all that. Some of those kids were just out of juvi hall or on their way there.

~Heather ;)

Sean said...

Our oldest is 12 and would have been starting 7th grade. We did not make our lifestyle change simply to get him out of Jr. High school...but on more than one occasion my wife and I have commented to each other what a good thing it is that he will miss it.

Lets see...drugs, sex, absentee parents, etc. AND all the while trying to make sense of the changes in their minds and with their bodies.

"That is a sad commentary on parenting and could be made into another post." - I am waiting to read this post...

Heather's Moving Castle said...

My new post is sort of a follow up to this one. It was quickly written, I hope it makes sense.

Dedicated to you all and other struggling folks like myself.